Totally free, 5KPlayer from DearMob is a media-playing utility that is a lot more than a downloader—but it's got a heck of a downloader integrated. Promising no viruses, ads, or plug-in requirements is a good start. It is, sadly, one of the few I tested that asks for a registration of your name and email—you have to do that to get the full download function across 300+ sites. You may still use it if you don't register; I didn't and was able to download 4K vids from YouTube.
If you’re looking to download a whole YouTube channel at one time, this is definitely one way that you can do it. WinX YouTube Downloader can download over 1000 URLs. Even more, it has support for different YouTube playlists and channels and even gives you the ability to record your own live videos, so this is one platform that can definitely achieve a whole lot more than you might have thought. On top of that, it doesn’t give you any kind of ads (because who wants to watch those?) and it lets you download from just about any kind of platform and into just about any kind of file.
In addition to the 5 GB free option, OpenDrive has one consumer-grade plan called Personal Unlimited. It costs $9.95 /month and offers an unlimited amount of storage space for your backed up files. Prepay for one year at $99 to bring that down to $8.25 /month. You can add an additional computer for $9.95 extra /computer, up to three extras for a total of four.
Not to be confused with the unrelated "pro" above, Video DownloadHelper supports a huge number of sites—even those for adults. You'll know a video is downloadable when the icon for the extension animates when you're on the webpage. Video DownloadHelper for Chrome has stopped working with YouTube—so it could get placement in the Chrome Web Store. You can get around that by using the Video DownloadHelper extension for Firefox. The developer has a Kiva initiative page, where it prefers you donate funds to those in need, which has raised over $137,700.

This is a Chrome extension that actually works from the Web Store—because it doesn't let you download YouTube videos. It time marks snippets you can share (only from YouTube). First create an account and log in. The extensions icon turns green on a YouTube page—click it to create the times you want, and they are then saved and easily shared; the viewer goes back to YouTube and sees what you specify. It's not really close to saving a video for your offline use, but could be useful in certain circumstances.
Most services encrypt your files with strong systems such as AES 256 before sending them up to the servers over an encrypted connection. The majority of products we tested also offer a private encryption key option. If you choose to manage your own encryption keys (basically the "key" that decrypts your backup), know that it is your responsibility to remember it. The online backup service itself will not be able to help you reset the password if you forget it. On the flip side, this means that no one (including employees of the backup service and law enforcement officials) other than you can unlock your backups. This is ideal from a privacy and security standpoint. Use a password manager to keep track of your private encryption key if you think you will forget it.

Some services go above and beyond, including extra capabilities that improve the experience. For example, a few offer disk courier services for bulk uploads and restores via an external drive that the company ships and manages. A couple of these services throw in a local backup component, too. If you go that route, you should take a look at our roundup of best external hard drives. Some of these services can even track your device's location and let you remotely wipe it in case it's lost or stolen.
One of the biggest advantages of using an online backup service is that it lets you access your files from anywhere. Most online backup providers let you view and download files from a web browser, but that should be the bare minimum. Many also include file-sharing options, the best of which even let you specify a password for access and an expiration date for the shared item.

With this online YouTube channel downloader, you have the ability to download the YouTube channel you want completely free, as long as it’s not copyrighted. This service provides downloads for what it considers ‘educational purposes.’ It does block any kind of content that has copyrighted material in it, which means you’re not going to have quite as many options for what you want to download, but you’re still going to have a lot of interesting things that you can listen to or watch. What’s really great is that it’s simple to use.
Some services go above and beyond, including extra capabilities that improve the experience. For example, a few offer disk courier services for bulk uploads and restores via an external drive that the company ships and manages. A couple of these services throw in a local backup component, too. If you go that route, you should take a look at our roundup of best external hard drives. Some of these services can even track your device's location and let you remotely wipe it in case it's lost or stolen.
5K Player also features DLNA server playback so videos you grab can be watched on any devices on your home supporting DLNA network; it supports AirPlay for quick playback to supported devices. Pick a video in the library and you can do a quick conversion to MP4, MP3, or even ACC (an audio format preferred by iOS devices). The player didn't like playing back the overly large 4K file though and experienced buffering issues—VLC didn't have any problem with the same file. Ultimately, there's a lot to like about 5K Player, from the price to the features, especially if you look at them as extras on a downloader. But the interface and playback issues may have you looking elsewhere.
The DVDVideoSoft system gives you free downloads in just about any style you might need. It’s an easier YouTube video downloader that consists of only three different steps. The system is older than some because it’s more than ten years old and it provides some of the best quality you could want. It’s available to be used on both PC and Mac computers, which gives you the level of versatility and flexibility that you’re looking for before you even get started. Plus, you can get a range of different options or different formatting features to the videos that you want to download.
Ben Moore is an Analyst for PCMag's software team covering video streaming services, security software, GNU/Linux, and the occasional PC game. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Neowin.net, and Tom's Guide. Ben holds a degree in New Media and Digital Design from Fordham University at Lincoln Center, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer, the student-run newspaper.
Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn't included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don't just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.
On iPhones and iPads, you'd think there would be no such restriction since Apple and Google aren't exactly the best of pals. But on the few apps I tried in the first edition of this story, not only wouldn't they download from YouTube, they're not even available anymore. One of those apps said in its description, "downloading from YouTube is prohibited due to its Terms of Service." Apple is ensuring that app makers play by the rules—even Google's rules. All the better to get Google to block someone who eventually does something illegal with iTunes downloads.
No honorable mentions this week, as the nominations dropped off pretty sharply from these five. Some of you pointed to your own kind of franken-backup solution that made use of traditional cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive in addition with desktop utilities and clients that can automatically copy whatever you want from your computer to specified files and folders in those services, which is a great option if you want the absolute ultimate in control.

The number one reason to download the entire YouTube channel is that you’re going to have offline access to them. If you want to catch up on your favorite shows but you’re going to be without internet for a while you may want to have a way to do it without the internet. Being able to get access wherever you happen to be, directly on your device, is going to be an important step. It’s going to make sure that you have something to do during that time that you’re away from internet access or not wanting to use your internet access (which is another great reason).


With the WinX YouTube Channel Downloader, you’ll need to download their software before you do anything else. Now, this system does have a paid version, or you can check out the free trial first. You get to choose the URL that you want to download and it can auto-detect all of the information about that video, including the format and size and even the resolution. But you still get to make the final determination. From there, you just click the button to download, and you’ll be ready to go.

Carbonite is online backup only, so it doesn't really work well for local backups or backups to external drives. You'll still have to handle that yourself. You can try Carbonite for free for 15 days, but after that you'll need to pay up $60/yr to back up one computer with their Home plan, $100/yr to back up one computer with their Home Plus plan, and $150/ur to back up one computer with their Home Premium plan. You can read more about Carbonite's plans and pricing here.
Totally free, 5KPlayer from DearMob is a media-playing utility that is a lot more than a downloader—but it's got a heck of a downloader integrated. Promising no viruses, ads, or plug-in requirements is a good start. It is, sadly, one of the few I tested that asks for a registration of your name and email—you have to do that to get the full download function across 300+ sites. You may still use it if you don't register; I didn't and was able to download 4K vids from YouTube.
It's been a long time since we last looked at online backup tools, so we figured it was time to take another look. Earlier this week we asked you which online backup services were the best: The ones that offered the most seamless and simple backups, fast and complete restores, easy-to-use backup clients, and of course, storage for your money. You responded with a number of options, but we only have room for your top five. Here they are, in no particular order:

In tests, I had to make a switch from MP4 to MKV format to get my test video to download in 4K. 4KVD snagged the 579.4MB file in about 43 seconds. It defaults back to 1080p HD, so I made the same switch when downloading an Ultra High Definition (8K) playlist. If you enable the Smart Mode and its pre-sets, 4K Video Downloader can then do one-click downloads to your favorite format. If you want to download more than 25 videos at a time or subscribe to YouTube channels to instantly download the latest, that requires the $15 paid version. Playback of the MKV file via VLC Media Player was flawless.
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